The Teaching of the Prophetic Encyclical Humanae Vitae (Part IV)

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The Second Prediction: Men Would Lose Respect for Women

The second prediction of Paul VI in Humanae Vitae, no. 17, was that if people resorted to contraception, men would lose respect for women:

Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his wife whom he should surround with care and affection.

The habitual practice of contraception produces a selfish mentality. This mentality induces men to consider their own wives (or the girlfriends with whom they are fornicating) as sexual objects, instead of human persons to be loved for themselves.

Moreover, contraceptives such as the Pill have harmful effects on women’s health. In fact, all hormonal contraceptives (like the Pill itself, the “morning-after” pill, Implanon, Nuvaring, Depo-Provera, etc.) carry risks for women’s health, either in the short run or in the long run. Their main harmful effects are:

  • Problems with blood circulation or coagulation, which in turn can cause…
  • Heart attacks
  • Breast cancer
  • Ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies outside the uterus)
  • Cancer of the neck of the uterus
  • Headaches with the risk of a pseudo brain tumor; and
  • Liver diseases

Perforation of uterus by IUD

The main harmful effects of the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) are injuries and infections in:

  • The reproductive tract
  • Neck of the uterus
  • Fallopian Tubes
  • Uterine perforations
  • Profuse bleeding
  • Ectopic pregnancies; and
  • Septic shock and death

Regarding breast cancer, it is significant that the World Health Organization (WHO), one of several anti-life agencies of the UN, admits that hormonal contraceptives can cause cancer. In fact, the WHO has classified them as Class One Carcinogens, together with arsenic, asbestos, radioactivity, and tobacco.1

Moreover, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a breast surgical oncologist and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, says “medical textbooks attest to a 30 percent increase in cancer risk.”1

Taking into account these horrible scientific data, what husband who really loves his wife would want her to take contraceptives simply because he wants to enjoy sex without worrying about the responsibility of raising children?

There is no doubt that Paul VI was absolutely right regarding this prediction. Next time someone approaches with the disrespectful opinion that “popes know nothing about sex because they are a bunch of old celibate men,” tell him these facts. Tell him also that wisdom about human sexuality does not come from sexual immorality. The only things that can come from a habitual life of unrepentant sexual sin are physical and psychological harm, lack of peace, and depending, eternal damnation. The truth about human sexuality comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal, complete and definitive Word of God. He commanded each of us, married or celibate, to teach the whole world the whole Truth about God and about ourselves (see Matthew 28:19-20).


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+ Endnote

[1] See WHO, “Carcinogenicity of combined hormonal contraceptives and combined menopausal treatment,” Statement, September 2005. See also Abby Johnson, “Ladies: we deserve something better than hormonal birth control,”, December 30, 2014.  Ms. Johnson also refers to Dr. Lanfranchi’s quoting from the WHO document referred to above.

Adolfo is the Director of Education for Hispanic Outreach for Human Life International and of HLI's Hispanic outreach arm Vida Humana Internacional. He has a Masters in Theology from St. Vincent de Paul Regional (Major) Seminary and a License in Moral Theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome.

Adolfo has traveled frequently to VHI’s affiliates in Latin America to give talks, training sessions, and media interviews. He has authored and co-authored books, articles, reports, and a pro-life training course for Hispanics in the U.S. Adolfo has also participated in the production of two TV pro-life series in Spanish, which have been aired through EWTN en Español.


  1. Sara on November 4, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    Hola Adolfo, me gustaria poder contactar contigo. Agradecería si me facilitases tu correo electrónico.

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